Friday, July 19, 2013

My Adventures at the San Diego Comic Con

Yesterday I attended Comic Con for the first time. 

For some I wager it's a magical experience, others a job. For me I considered it an adventure filled will peril, obstacle, intrigue, and wonder, the prototypical hero's right of passage from inexperience to experience. I did things that I had never done before. I saw things that I never saw before. I talked with those I never dreamed of talking with. Verily, it was a mind trip.

The day started off for me at 6:30am. My Aunt and Uncle live in San Diego in North Park which is only 5 miles away from the Con. Parking (when I could acquisition it) was 25 to 30 dollars for day passes. I ended up paying about $30 in cab fair there and back so I ended up breaking even. 

Arriving at the Con was a confusing mess. It was like I was having a stroke and imagining all my favorite characters suddenly warped and transmuted surrounding me, pressing in on me, emerging in my consciousness as glandular deficient permutations and suddenly slutty women. To be honest I was at odds with what to think of the women. In comics women are characterized and portrayed as these buxom, thin, stick figures with cantaloupe sized breasts hanging from their chests. At the Con I saw outfits that faithfully rendered these archetypes, revealing rather the horrendous injustice to women in the comic book industry. Watching the derriere of many a female perilously falling out, barely held in, kept at bay against the treacherous forces of gravity and youth, I was at a loss. How can one be filled with outrage when comics render women as such?

Entering the Con was another thing entirely. The line literally went around the building, so imagine my chagrin when I realized I could have just hung out down stairs and waited until the line passed by again. At every turn there was an individual ready to cut in line while wearing a cumbersome outfit. It was a double whammy! I like your incredible hulk costume that you spent 8 months meticulously constructing in Papier-mâché sir, if only you didn't block the line. 

On the floor was overwhelming. Excited with my brand new iPhone 5 I was ready to social media the shit out my my experience, only to realize that my cell service was compromised by the shear intensity of cellular waves entering and exiting the concrete structure. I might be sterile now, and if I'm not I will be next year when Verizon has their LTE booth in the center demoing it's signal strength. (Fingers crossed!!)

I got to experience the Sequart panel. That was a wonderful experience, perhaps for a different reason than one might think. It lowered my expectations for what a grass root following can amass to more realistic levels. That sounds like a bad thing, but it's not. I was told that usually we have close to 200+ people and that day we averaged around 50. It wasn't the best turnout, but one must learn to take victories where available and learn from mistakes. Meeting with  was a treat, and I was able to get some great resources for my upcoming book with Sequart.

The rest to follow was a blur of events. I shook Bruce Tim's hand, met an internet acquaintance Royden Lepp, Talked with the producer of Batman: Arkham Origins, and asked Patton Oswalt a question at the Adult Swim Heart, She Holler panel. 

After the con was over I went with my colleagues Julian Darius, Patrick Meaney, and Jordan Rennert out to dinner (a comedy of errors) and then to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund party on top of the Westgate Hotel. There I met and spoke to Grant Morrison for over an hour with Julian Darius assaulting him with words like "decontrustion" and "sadomasochism." (But hey, we have fun.) It was so surreal meeting Grant, who was, next to Neil Gaiman (who I also met briefly in passing that day), one of the nicest fellows I ever met. I asked him about the cosmic Superman trope in All-Star Superman, which he confirmed for me to be true, and talked about the eventual gay Batman that everybody is waiting for.

Unfortunately for me, Friday and Saturday are both out for being able to attend to Con. I hope to return on Sunday and take my Sequart companions out for one last hurrah before they leave. One day at the con though was enough to show me how great such an experience is. I will return next year, hopefully with business cards and material from my upcoming graphic novel with Phil Kiner

Gotta' love the Con!


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